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Vibration Engineering

What Is Vibration?

Vibration serviceability is the study of the whole field of environmental vibration, both natural and induced, with consideration for the adverse consequences on humans and sensitive devices, such as machinery. Research in vibration serviceability looks to frame the future built environment through study, experiment, research, modelling and use of in-situ tools. Comprehensive understanding of the interaction between humans and the built environment, is enabled through multi-disciplinary collaboration with specialists from structural dynamics and control, psychology, physiology, bio-mechanics, human comfort, architecture for well being and health. Hence, the Vibration Engineering research experts developed the VSimulators facility at University of Exeter as a platform for further inter-disiplinary investigations.

Click on the video below where University of Exeter academics explore and explain vibration within structures, why it matters for human occupants, how it can be resolved and why it is of interest in their research.

Research Expertise

The Vibration Engineering Section (VES) at the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences has an international reputation for research and analysis of vibration serviceability, structural health monitoring and active vibration control, with application to real world problems. The VES research team provide expertise in dynamic analysis, testing and monitoring of large scale civil engineering structures including bridges, buildings, grandstands, lighthouses, tall timber structures and staircases.


James Brownjohn (University of Exeter) has research expertise in vibration serviceability, structural health monitoring, system identification, human biomechanics, wind engineering, measuring and evaluating performance of structures at full scale (including deformation and extreme loads), ambient vibration testing and operational modal analysis using minimal portable equipment, including calibrated humans.


Alex Pavic (University of Exeter) explores how large structures vibrate in day to day usage and the impact on human comfort, with a particular research expertise in slender civil engineering structures, long-span floors and grandstands, being occupied and dynamically excited by humans. His research expertise includes tall timber structures, reduction of embodied energy in construction and human induced dynamic forces applied on human musculo-skeletal systems.


Paul Reynolds (University of Exeter) research is focused on the control and mitigation of vibrations using technology. He explores how structures can be built with less materials, but still perform to a high standard, utilising dynamic testing and monitoring methods.


In response to industry demand for specialist expertise in real world structures, James, Alex and Paul founded Full Scale Dynamics Ltd, a University spin-out consultancy company focused on vibration serviceability, analysis, testing, monitoring and control of full scale structures.


Mateusz Bocian (University of Leicester) is the Director of Biomechanics and Immersive Technology Laboratory at the University of Leicester and a virtual reality applications expert for VSimulator. His expertise focuses on the use of virtual reality as a tool to analyse human-structure interaction and biomechanics. His original research was a precursor to the development of the VSimulators facility, as detailed in the Case Studies section. His doctoral project pioneered the use of fully immersive virtual reality in research on structural vibration serviceability worldwide. Previously Matuesz worked on fusion of data from advanced wireless and wired devices for measurements, linking human and vehicle dynamic loading with structural response. His research interests revolve around structural dynamics, biomechanics and cognitive psychology.


Stana Zivanovic (University of Exeter) explores human motion analysis, human response to vibrations and other perturbations in the built environment, which includes human-structure and human-human interactions and synchronisation. Additionally she explores the dynamics of lightweight structures (eg fibre reinforced polymer and aluminium) and human-structure systems.


To find out more, watch the videos below exploring current research in Vibration Engineering and how VSimulators will provide a unique research facility to help resolve vibration problems experienced by human occupants, asset owners, architects and the construction industry. Or visit the Case Studies pages to find out more about the different projects these academics have been involved in and how their expertise could support a project using VSimulators

James Brownjohn talks about his research areas at University of Exeter, Vibration Engineering Section

Alex Pavic talks about his research areas at University of Exeter, Vibration Engineering Section

Paul Reynolds talks about his research areas at University of Exeter, Vibration Engineering Section